Imports of green energy products more than doubled in 2022

Photo-illustration: Pixabay (tookapic)

Clean energy is a fundamental part of the European Green Deal. In pursuit of this, green energy products such as wind turbines, liquid biofuels and solar panels are required. Utilising these energy products also reduces the energy import dependencies highlighted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In 2022, the EU spent 28.4 billion euros on imports of green energy products (including wind turbines, solar panels and liquid biofuels) from extra-EU countries, more than double the amount in 2021 (13.3. billion euros).

Focusing on specific products, the EU imported 22.6 billion euros worth of solar panels in 2022, a 145 percent increase compared with 2021 (9.2 billion euros). Increases were also recorded for liquid biofuels with 2022 imports reaching 5.1 billion euros, up 49 percent on 2021 (3.4 billion euros). An increase was also recorded in imports of wind turbines, which rose 17 percent to 0.8 billion euros in 2022, from 0.6 billion euros (2021).

Compared with 2012, imports of all three green energy products have increased. Imports of solar panels are up 137 percent, imports of liquid biofuels are up 60 percent and imports of wind turbines are up 504 percent.


Dramatic fall in exports of wind turbines in 2022

The value of green energy products exported by the EU to extra-EU countries was significantly lower (3.7 billion euros) and was 27 percent lower than the corresponding 2021 figure (5.0 billion euros).

Exports of wind turbines were valued at 1.3 billion euros in 2022, which represented a significant decrease (-59 percent) on those in 2021 (3.2 billion euros). Solar panels totalled 0.8 billion euros in 2022, up 44 percent on 2021 (0.6 billion euros). Liquid biofuel exports numbered 1.6 billion euros, up 23 percent from 2021 (1.3 billion euros).

Exports of liquid biofuels only totalled 0.5 billion euros in 2012 and grew to 1.6 billion euros in 2022, representing a 235 percent increase on 2012 exports. Exports of solar panels have seen a more modest increase (25 percent), from 0.6 billion euros in 2012 to 0.8 billion euros in 2022. Wind turbine exports have recorded a -55 percent drop, from 2.9 billion euros in 2012 to 1.3 billion euros in 2022.

Source: Eurostat